Get a free weekly newsletter with recipe!

DASH Diet Helps Control Blood Pressure

Best DietsFor individuals considering how to lose weight fast for health purposes, the DASH diet is a popular choice for its high scores in nutrition, heart heath and ability to lower blood pressure. Rich in fruits, vegetables and whole grains, the DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) program was originally developed by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute to prevent hypertension.

High blood pressure affects an estimated 50 million people in the U.S., and the DASH program has proven to be one of the best diets for controlling hypertension through a healthy eating pattern that not only focuses on key nutrients, but also helps individuals shed unwanted pounds.

Another option for dieters that integrates behavioral counseling from trained doctors are the programs available at The Center for Medical Weight Loss – the nation’s largest network of professional weight loss physicians. Not only are their programs safe for fast weight loss, but they’re also successful in helping patients eliminate any weight-related complications such as diabetes, hypertension and heart disease.

How the DASH diet works

The DASH diet’s focus is on portion control and healthy meal plans, which are heavy on produce, lean protein, low-fat dairy and fiber-rich foods. DASH dieters can ease into the program by slowly reducing their intake of fat-laden and sugary food and drinks, while increasing fruits, legumes and vegetables. The diet takes excess sodium out of the equation (daily limit 1,500 mg), and recommends foods that contain key nutrients like potassium and calcium that help fight hypertension.

For someone who consumes 2,000 calories per day on the program, they would eat up to eight servings a day of whole grains, ten servings of fruits and vegetables, and two to three servings of nonfat or low-fat dairy products. DASH emphasizes plenty of fiber-filled foods and smaller portions of lean protein to help dieters feel sated throughout the day, and no food group is completely off limits. From books and magazines to various websites, DASH diet recipes can be found everywhere.

DASH diet recipes

The Dash diet plan revolves around high-fiber, low calorie meals with correct serving sizes. Here’s an example of a daily meal plan provided by the Mayo Clinic.

Breakfast
1 small whole-wheat bagel with 2 tablespoons peanut butter
1 medium orange
1 cup fat-free milk
Decaffeinated coffee

Lunch
Spinach salad made with:

  • 4 cups of fresh spinach leaves
  • 1 sliced pear
  • 1/2 cup canned mandarin orange sections
  • 1/3 cup slivered almonds
  • 2 tablespoons reduced-fat red wine vinaigrette

12 reduced-sodium wheat crackers
1 cup fat-free milk 

Snack
1 cup fat-free yogurt
4 vanilla wafers

Dinner
Herb-crusted baked cod, 3 ounces
1/2 cup brown rice pilaf
1/2 cup fresh green beans, steamed
1 small sourdough roll
2 teaspoon trans-free margarine
1 cup fresh berries with chopped mint
Herbal iced tea

Best weight loss program

While the DASH diet promotes healthy eating without extreme measures, some people may find it challenging to sustain, since the average American consumes 2 servings of fresh fruits and vegetables per day. Finding the best diet to lose weight is rarely a simple endeavor. It takes patience and lifestyle changes to create new habits that you will maintain over the long haul.

At The Center for Medical Weight Loss, the physician-assisted programs are designed to help clients with their specific weight loss needs, whether it’s 100 pounds or those last stubborn ten pounds. There is no one-size-fits-all best way to lose weight; instead, the doctors at the Center examine your weight loss goals within the context of your total health profile, offering customized regimens that fit into your daily schedule and encourage lasting results. There are thousands of weight loss success stories at The Center for Medical Weight Loss — you can become the next!

There are more than 450 Centers across the nation helping individuals discover the best weight loss program to help them achieve their long-term goals. To find one in your area, simply enter your zip code in the box to the right of your screen. Special introductory offers are available to first-time clients in select areas.